Alex Rodriguez opened up and explained why the New York Yankees third baseman won't give up on rejoining the team this season knowing he'll be facing angry fans, declining skills, the over-zealous media, an MLB steroid investigation and possible suspension.
In a revealing interview with New York Post reporter Joel Sherman, the soon-to-be 38-year-old A-Rod explains the simple truth why he just doesn't bail out of the game thus protecting his remaining salary, health and avoid an embarrassing drug-cheat suspension.
“I just know I love the game,” Rodriguez told The Post. “This is my first love. Like any first love, it doesn’t have to be rational, so it is not rational.”
Sherman says he believes A-Rod's passion for the game still burns even though he is well enough off to just sit back and catch rays by the pool for the rest of his life. The entrepreneurial Rodriguez already has a life outside baseball which includes a burgeoning art collection, business and real estate investments and work with the Boys & Girls Club in Miami.
Why not fill his life with things other than boos and allegations?
“Then there wouldn’t be baseball," said Rodriguez.
“I know not everyone might understand this, people might think I am crazy,” continued Rodriguez. “But I really love this. I love all of it, the practice, the games. And I feel if I can help my team a little, then I owe it to the team and the fans to try.”
But even after two hip surgeries and a series of minor league rehab games this summer, A-Rod is ready to make his return in the unfriendly confines of The Ballpark in Arlington against the Texas Rangers Monday night.
"It's a process, but a process I think is on the right track,” Rodriguez said.
Sherman asked the Yankees pariah one last time why he doesn't chuck it all — escape all this, get away from the accusations, insinuations, jeers.
“I want to keep getting up and paying the price to play,” Rodriguez told him. “Do you understand?”